Earlier this year, HBO premiered Game Change, a drama depicting the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin. Part of the reason to tune in was, of course, the casting, which had Oscar nominees Ed Harris and Julianne Moore in the respective roles (and Austin Pendelton perfectly picked as Joe Lieberman, I might add). But there also was a story there, not just an excuse for celebrity-portraying-celebrity pageantry. The plot twist of McCain choosing the little-known firecracker from Alaska provided a situation for an interesting cable biopic.
Now, another Republican ticket has lost to Obama, and I wonder if there could be an HBO telling of the story in early 2016. Is there a story worth telling about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and will people still care about them in a few years? Will Ryan reach for either bigger things or just more of the spotlight to keep the fame up, as Palin did? I don't think either he or Romney have quite the pop-culture appeal that Palin does, but that isn't necessarily required for these things. And you know there will be books written about it, so there will be material to adapt.
So, then the fun part is casting the thing. Thanks to Saturday Night Live, just as it was hard to think of anyone else to play Palin than Tina Fey, it's hard to think of anyone else to play Romney than Jason Sudeikis. But while the show's Ryan impersonator, Taran Killam, did fine, the one actor hardest to dismiss as the VP candidate is Glee's Matthew Morrison. The resemblance is pretty striking.
More serious contenders for the Mormon White House seeker include names like George Clooney, Kevin Costner, Ty Burrell, Warren Beatty and Mel Gibson. I saw someone suggest Tom Cruise somewhere, and I can kinda see the possibility. Romney's own suggestion for his portrayal: Gene Hackman.
Other ideas I've seen online for Ryan include Ryan Gosling, Crispin Glover, Zach Woods (from The Office) and, again, Julianne Moore.
Who should play Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in a movie?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
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